Palliser Estate has six vineyards spread over 85 hectares – all in the renowned grape-growing Martinborough
Harvest takes place in autumn. It’s the busiest time for the winery.
Over the course of the last decade our winemaker Allan has customised the winery to help both the process and quality of the final product. Innovations range from the technical, like a pneumatic plunger for the red fermenters to the decidedly Kiwi, like using a forklift as an antigravity machine to drain the wine.
The innovations come into their own when up to sixty tonnes of fruit a day pours in from the vineyard. Then it’s all hands on deck to get the process of winemaking underway.
Allan is a minimalist. His winemaking philosophy is to let the terrior speak for itself. For aromatic varietals the key is bringing out their essential character by extracting the best from the vineyards. Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, by contrast, require more winemaking influence with the use of oak, lees aging, and wild fermentation. Allan keeps a close eye on this process from his office in the winery. Along with Pip they pay careful attention to every step of the winemaking process to ensure optimum quality is achieved.
And yes we barrel all our Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in small traditional oak casks. They live on the estate in a purpose-built barrel hall. It’s cool, silent, cavernous feel is created by the thermomass concrete and high ceilings. The insulated concrete helps us control the temperature. The high ceilings allows the barrels to be organised and stacked four or five high. At any time, over 1,000 barrels of wine can live here, maturing into something structured, complex and tasty.